Friends of Traditional Banking: A Super PAC for bankers(Read article summary)
Frustrated by their lack of political power, the nation's bankers have set up their own campaign donation fund
Youâd think banks had all the political friends they need.Â After all, court cases have been going their way since 1811 when Master of the Rolls Sir William Grant ruled in Carr v. Carr that the term âdebtsâ mentioned in a will included a cash balance in a bank deposit account. Grant ruled that since the money had been paid generally into the bank and was not earmarked in a sealed bag, it had become a loan rather than a bailment, thus codifying fractionalized banking.
âCongress isnât afraid of bankers,â says Roger Beverage, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. âThey donât think weâll do anything to kick them out of office. We are trying to change that perception.â
So the Friends of Traditional Banking SuperPac is born to throw some big money at certain key races this fall.
A âsurgicalâ strike at the industryâs enemies blares the headline.
Itâs hard to know just how surgical it will be.Â To read American Bankerâs reporting sounds like this SuperPac is going to be run like aâŚwellâŚbank.
Friends of Traditional Banking will ask contributors to pledge from $150 to $500 to two congressional races each election cycle. An advisory council will research races and select the candidates to be targeted. A board of directors will sign off on the selections, and then information will be sent to those who pledged funding explaining how to donate to a particular candidate.
It sounds like it would be easier to get approval for a construction loan to build a spec office building in Las Vegas than talking these guys into parting with campaign money.
But while the bankers are talking big,Â theyâre just hoping to cobble together a million dollars to start with.
âIt would be nice to sit on the sidelines or sit on our hands and say, âOh we donât get involved in that stuff,â but that just means you get run over,âDon Childears, the president and CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association told American Banker. âWe need to get more deeply involved as an industry in supporting friends and trying to replace enemies.â
âClearly there are Members of Congress who have absolutely no reservations about kicking traditional banks in the teeth, and we are tired of it,â says Utah Bankers Association president Howard Headlee. âWeâve got to be able to defend the folks who have the courage to stand up for us as well.
Wanted:Â politicians who will protect the interests of bankers.
Can those be hard to find?